#10 Best Down Jackets for Backpacking 2022

Here we've compiled a list of chosen the best down jackets for backpacking from ultralight to winter-ready. Read on!

👤 Written by: A. R. Wardhana
⏳ Updated on:
📋 List: 10 items
👀 Reader: 30 views

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Many people would love to have a down jacket. When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing better than putting something warm over each arm. The best down jackets are warm, technical pieces of clothing that work just as well on the mountain as they do at home or in a bar. Down jackets have been around for hundreds of years, and today’s versions are all about high warmth, low weight, and long-lasting materials.

We’ve put a number of down jackets through a lot of reviews, and we’ve listed the best down jackets for backpacking below. The jackets are divided into even smaller subcategories for specific uses, but we think almost anyone could wear and love any of the ones on this list. Good luck picking your down jacket!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Is it worth buying a down jacket?

Down jackets have a thin layer of insulation that keeps you very warm. They are perfect for low-intensity activities in cold weather, like strolling, walking your dog, waiting for the bus, going shopping, or just sitting in a cold tractor cab.

Are down jackets good for backpacking?

In short, backpackers must have a down jacket that can be packed up. This also applies to weight; you want a down jacket that is very light and easy to pack up. This will make it easy to put a great layer of warmth in your pack.

How do I choose one of the best down jackets for backpacking?

A down jacket should have well-placed pockets where you can keep important things. Even if you are wearing a backpack or a climbing harness, it should be easy to get to the pockets.

What is the best down jacket to buy?

How and where you’ll use your down jacket will determine which one is best for you. If the weather is mostly dry and very cold, you might want to buy a down jacket with more down fill that will keep more heat. If you’ll be in a really wet place, you might be better off with a synthetic down jacket.

*Disclaimer. We can not guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct. Read more
Name Rank Check Prices
Nano Puff Jacket Patagonia
Patagonia
Nano Puff Jacket
#1 Amazon Rei.com eBay
Forclaz Trek 100 Decathlon
Decathlon
Forclaz Trek 100
#2 Amazon Decathlon.com eBay
Ghost Whisperer UL Jacket Mountain Hardwear
Mountain Hardwear
Ghost Whisperer UL Jacket
#3 Amazon Mountainhardwear.com eBay
Flash Down Jacket Western Mountaineering
Western Mountaineering
Flash Down Jacket
#4 Amazon Backcountry.com eBay
Thorium AR Down Hoodie Arc'teryx
Arc'teryx
Thorium AR Down Hoodie
#5 Amazon Rei.com eBay
Women's Down Sweater Hoody Patagonia
Patagonia
Women's Down Sweater Hoody
#6 Amazon Patagonia.com eBay
DNA Tundra Hoody W Jack Wolfskin
Jack Wolfskin
DNA Tundra Hoody W
#7 Amazon Jack-wolfskin.com eBay
Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0 REI
REI
Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0
#8 Amazon Rei.com eBay
RAB Microlight Alpine Down Jacket Patagonia
Patagonia
RAB Microlight Alpine Down Jacket
#9 Amazon Rab.equipment eBay
Goose Hybridge Lite Hooded Down Jacket Patagonia
Patagonia
Goose Hybridge Lite Hooded Down Jacket
#10 Amazon Canadagoose.com eBay

10 List of Best Down Jackets for Backpacking

  • Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket
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    with this product?
    #1

    Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket

    Perfect for Travelling

    2  experts agree 2  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody is perfectly acceptable for the great outdoors, city wear, and even travel. They appear and feel light, and you would never guess how warm they are. Because of this, the Nano Puff is ideal for packing into hiking jackets and bringing along on hikes or long backpacking trips, as it fits easily into a tiny stuff sack. The shell is made entirely of recycled materials, and the production process has received blue-sign certification for eco-friendly manufacturing methods.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Lightweight, warm, and versatile
    Breathable
    Beautiful design
    Stylish

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    Pricey
    Limited water-proofing

    What other experts liked

    The Nano Puff features a beautiful design and you could definitely wear this about town and keep your cool.
    The Broke Backpacker
    Very compactly to the size of a small cushion, and may even fit in your pocket or a stuff sack
    The Broke Backpacker

    What other experts didn't like

    They can sometimes be a bit too bloody warm
    The Broke Backpacker
    Isn’t intended to handle anything too extreme
    The Broke Backpacker
  • Decathlon Forclaz Trek 100
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    with this product?
    #2

    Decathlon Forclaz Trek 100

    Best Budget

    2  experts agree 2  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    If you’re on a budget, the Decathlon Trek 100 is the best option. It’s a fraction of the price of most down jackets, but the weight, materials, and features are comparable to the best. The jacket includes two zippered pockets and an adjustable hem. So, if you’re seeking one of the best hiking jackets on the market, this is a good option.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Lightweight
    Available for men and women
    High Quality
    Affordable
    2 zippered pockets

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    Heavy
    No adjustable hood
    No chest pocket

    What other experts liked

    A down hooded jacket that will keep you warm down to 40F degrees
    Section Hiker
    The Forclaz Trek 100 has a sewn-through baffle design, where the interior and exterior fabric are sewn together to create pockets to hold the down insulation.
    Section Hiker

    What other experts didn't like

    Not be as durable as a top-shelf jacket
    The Trek
    Runs small
    The Trek
  • Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer UL Jacket
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    with this product?
    #3

    Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer UL Jacket

    Ultralight Puffy Category

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer has long been a favorite of thru-hikers and a top contender in the ultralight puffy category. Thanks to an ultra-thin outer material and 1000-fill down insulation, the Ghost Whisperer UL is now even lighter. Although it isn’t the lightest down jacket available in absolute terms, we believe it is the lightest jacket that is still practiced in a wide range of three-season conditions.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Impressively lightweight
    Warm for any weather
    Durable water-repellant (DWR) finish
    Simple elastic cuffs

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    The elastic hood is not adjustable
    No stuff sack

    What other experts liked

    The Ghost Whisperer UL has proven to be a good match for moderately cold temperatures
    Switch Back Travel

    What other experts didn't like

    It’s worth noting that the UL uses virgin materials in the shell fabric
    The Trek
  • Western Mountaineering Flash Down Jacket
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    with this product?
    #4

    Western Mountaineering Flash Down Jacket

    High Performance

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    It’s one of the lightweight down jackets designed for mild conditions that call for a high-performance, low-weight insulation layer. Western Mountaineering is a renowned sleeping bag manufacturer based in the United States. There’s also a full-length zipper with a down-filled draft tube that keeps warm air from leaking out through the zipper coils, according to the brand sleeping bag expertise. The Hooded Flash is a well-made shell that is designed to keep you warm while being simple to wear.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Full-length zipper
    Extremely warm
    DWR finish
    Available in 4 natural colors

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    No pocket
    No stick-on labels to wear off

    What other experts liked

    The Hooded Flash is a superbly made shell, purpose made to keep you warm, with little complication in the design.
    Section Hiker

    What other experts didn't like

    There are no drawcords for hood or hem adjustment
    Section Hiker
  • Arc'teryx Thorium AR Down Hoodie
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    with this product?
    #5

    Arc'teryx Thorium AR Down Hoodie

    Best for Outdoor Lifestyle

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    The Arc’teryx Thorium AR Hoody fills that need. The Thorium AR Hoody is one of the essential down jackets for usage in any urban or outdoor setting. It’s a real all-a-rounder that doesn’t always dazzle in a specific setting but is the ideal companion for a lifetime of action. The Thorium AR Hoody has performed well in the cold and wet, due to the combination of 750-fill-power goose down for warmth and Core loft synthetic insulation for wet-weather performance.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Standalone piece
    Durable water repellent (DWR) coating
    Matte-finished nylon
    Available for men and women style

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    No external chest pocket
    Heavy

    What other experts liked

    The Thorium works well for both everyday and performance use, offers solid warmth and weather protection, and features the superior build quality and clean styling
    Switch Back Travel

    What other experts didn't like

    There are no external chest pockets.
    Gear Assistant
  • Patagonia Women's Down Sweater Hoody
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    with this product?
    #6

    Patagonia Women's Down Sweater Hoody

    Multiple Zippered Hand Pockets

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    The Patagonia Women’s Down Sweater Hoody is durable and water-resistant. It’s made with 800-fill RDS-certified, traceable goose down, and a recycled, windproof 20D ripstop polyester shell that has a DWR treatment for moderate water resistance. The jacket combines multiple zippered hand pockets, elastic cuffs, and an adjustable hood and hem, as well as all the other features you’d expect from a puffy.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Made from recycled materials
    Wind and waterproof
    Durable
    Multiple zippered hand pockets
    Completed with hood

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    Only one way adjustable
    Heavy
    Can feel under-stuffed

    What other experts liked

    Lightweight and comfortable warmth is what the Patagonia Down Sweater is all about.
    Switch Back Travel

    What other experts didn't like

    In sustained precipitation, down wets out and begins to clump, losing its insulating power.
    Switch Back Travel
  • Jack Wolfskin DNA Tundra Hoody W
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    with this product?
    #7

    Jack Wolfskin DNA Tundra Hoody W

    Best PFC Free

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    The Jack Wolfskin DNA Tundra Hoody is a lightweight down hoodie with twin STORMLOCK materials for complete weather protection. It ranks around the center of our best down jackets list, and it’s a strong contender for the title of Best All-Around Down Jacket. This jacket is filled with RDS-certified responsibly sourced natural duck down with a fill power of 700. It’s also PFC-free, which means it emits fewer greenhouse emissions, and it’s composed of recycled polyester. If you’re looking for a versatile jacket that will keep you warm, try this one!

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Ultralight
    Warm
    Sharp looks
    PFC Free

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    No adjustable hood
    There's no hem to keep the wind out

    What other experts liked

    Aside from its stellar performance and sharp looks, is its inherent sustainability.
    Backpackers

    What other experts didn't like

    Movement is restricted with the jacket zipped, and the hood is not adjustable
    Task and Purpose
  • REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0
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    with this product?
    #8

    REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0

    Best Affordable

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    A style that has seen incremental improvements year after year, the REI Down Jacket 650 2 is the retailer’s solid attempt at a well-made cheap down jacket. The quality is perfect for most urban hikers, day hikers, and car campers because it is lightweight and durable. Having a variety of hues to choose from at a good price would make this one a good option.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    DWR (durable water repellent)
    Lightweight
    Warm
    2 internal pockets
    2 hand pockets with zipping
    Affordable

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    Lacks adjustments at the hem and cuffs
    A large and boxy fit isn’t ideal for performance use
    Use standard nylon

    What other experts liked

    The jacket’s lining is soft against the skin, and the 4.2 ounces of 650-fill down kept me warm into the 40s Fahrenheit with just a t-shirt on underneath.
    Switch Back Travel

    What other experts didn't like

    It packs into its own pocket but doesn't have a built-in clip-in loop.
    Outdoor Gear Lab
  • Patagonia RAB Microlight Alpine Down Jacket
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    with this product?
    #9

    Patagonia RAB Microlight Alpine Down Jacket

    Great DWR Coating

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    If you often go on adventures in wet weather but don’t want to give up the benefits of down, like its lightweight, long life, and easy packing, then the Patagonia Rab Microlight Alpine is the best choice for you. This hoodie has a “down proof” Pertex Quantum face fabric with a great DWR coating and recycled 700-fill power down that repels water.

    The hood is a good size and has a brim to keep light rain from getting in your face. This jacket is not waterproof, but it is very resistant to water. It does this while still being comfortable, light, and easy to pack. We like the benefits of down and are glad that Rab made a down hoody that can stand up to water, which is its worst enemy.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Water-resistant
    Good DWR coating
    Excellent features

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    Not as lofty or light as others
    A bit heavy

    What other experts liked

    The Rab Microlight Alpine is a great choice if you need a layer of insulation that you can pack up and use in weather that is mostly wet.
    Outdoor Gear Lab

    What other experts didn't like

    It's pretty heavy and a little too complicated to use every day.
    Switch Back Travel
  • Patagonia Goose Hybridge Lite Hooded Down Jacket
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    with this product?
    #10

    Patagonia Goose Hybridge Lite Hooded Down Jacket

    Fantastic Affordable Jacket

    1  experts agree 1  experts disagree
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    The Patagonia Canada Goose Hybridge Lite Hoody is probably one of the nicest hiking jackets you’ll ever wear. Especially after looking at the Canada Goose website and seeing a bunch of way too handsome men with way too well-kept beards wearing the jackets on way too clean city streets. But if you’re a real man and your layering system is Jack Daniels and baby fat, you’ll still like the Hybridge Lite Hoody for its warmth, functionality, and street-smart looks. If you can afford this jacket, we promise that you won’t regret how it performs.

    Pros (reasons to buy)

    Breathable materials
    Stylish looks and convenient design
    Incredibly compressible

    Cons (reasons to avoid)

    A bit pricey
    Lacking hem adjustments
    The hood is a bit large for some people

    What other experts liked

    The Hybridge Lite did very well because it was very breathable and could work perfectly in a wide range of temperatures.
    Backpackers

    What other experts didn't like

    If everything had been just right, this might have been good enough. The fatal blow? The hood was too large.
    Outdoor Gear Lab

Conclusion: Best Down Jackets for Backpacking

A warm layer that provides insulation is an important part of any layering system. How warm your insulating layer needs to be, how light it needs to be, and what features it needs will depend on your preferences and needs. We hope that our detailed descriptions of the best down jackets for backpacking will help you decide which one will work best for you. As down jackets continue to get lighter and warmer, we’ll keep up with the latest changes and post our findings here.

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